Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Orvana Resources US Corp., Orvana entered into long-term mineral lease agreements covering 936 hectares comprising the "Copperwood Project", which is located in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA. The Company's focus over the last year has been applying for permits that would allow for mining this copper deposit. The Company achieved a number of major permitting milestones in fiscal 2012. In November 2012, the Company announced, in co-operation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ("MDEQ"), that it agreed to withdraw its Wetlands Permit application in order to provide more time for review by the MDEQ and the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"). The permit application was re-submitted at the end of November 2012, with expectations of a decision before the end of February 2013.
Total capital expenditures in respect of the Copperwood Project during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were $1,070 compared to a total of $5,842 in fiscal 2012.
Orvana's short-term focus is operational optimization at the EVBC Mine and the UMZ Mine to generate increasing operating cash flows in order to pay down debt and set a foundation for growth. Fiscal 2013 guidance for production is 75,000 ounces of gold, 18 million pounds of copper and 850,000 ounces of silver.
Fiscal 2013 production guidance for the EVBC Mine is 63,000 ounces of gold, 6 million pounds of copper and 200,000 ounces of silver. Orvana continues to work on improving head grade, increasing gold production and reducing total cash costs (net of by-product revenue) per ounce of gold. The shaft, which became operational during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, is expected to allow for more efficient ore haulage resulting in improved flexibility, increased mine production and cost optimization. Orvana will also investigate alternatives to maximize the mill throughput and enhance recoveries.
Fiscal 2013 production guidance for the UMZ Mine is 12,000 ounces of gold, 12 million pounds of copper and 650,000 ounces of silver. During fiscal 2013, the Company's focus at the UMZ Mine will be on improving recoveries.
At Copperwood, the Company is awaiting the decision by the MDEQ regarding the Wetlands Permit.
Orvana's long-term focus is to utilize future cash flow and mining capabilities to build long-term value for its shareholders specifically through organic growth and possibly through certain strategic acquisitions primarily focused on advanced-stage gold and/or copper properties.
The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the first quarter results. Following the presentation there will be a question and answer period for analysts and investors.
The conference call can be accessed at 1-416-695-7806 or the North American toll-free number at 1-888-789-9572, using the pass code 8728099 followed by the number sign.
Orvana Minerals is a multi-mine gold and copper producer. Orvana's primary asset is the El Valle-Boinas/Carles gold-copper Mine in northern Spain. Orvana also owns and operates the Don Mario Mine in Bolivia, processing its copper-gold-silver Upper Mineralized Zone deposit. Orvana is also advancing its Copperwood copper project in Michigan, USA. Additional information is available at Orvana's website (www.orvana.com).
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